the fasmine was no natural disaster. the potato blight was a natural disaster that affected most of europe, only the irish starved. in hungary, belguim, france and germany the governments fed their people. the british did not because of their slavish adherence to the evil laissez faire ideals which trumped all humanitarian efforts. one historian i read recently concluded by saying: :"the fact remains that they(the irish) were citizens of the richest and most powerfull state in history and that they lived withing a few hundred miles of the centre of wealth and power, and they were allowed to starve." she couldn't use the g word as brits are generally still racist deniers about most of their humanitarian abuses.
a canadian note is that here the hundreds of thousand of starving refugees arrived in coffin ships wit h little or no facilities. most were dying from disease due to lack of nutrition and the total lack of basic safetly and health services on the coffin ships. the quarintine island were where most ended their lives; there are a quarter of a million burried on grosse isle alone. leaving about a hundred thousand children as orphans. true to form the english in ontario rioted to stop the influx of the diseased hordes. the quebecois on the other hand(who were among the poorest people in north america at the time) took in the orphans. they made a general policy of allowing them to keep their names no matter the names of the adoptive parents. hence in quebec nowadays if you are named mulroney, burns or o'malley people assume you speak french. the quebecois, unlike the english are very compassionate people. many risked their lives to help those on the quarintine islands by illegally ferrying over food and supplies and many quebecois doctors died there trying to cope with the total hunanitarian disaster.
the british empire and it's laissez faire philosophy was one of the great evils of the history of mankind and spawned the greater evil of the present " free enterprise capitalist" empire of america. they want freedom to pillage the world and ignore the cost to others.